Swanky Dinner Party Part 2 – Caesar Salad with Vegan Dressing and Homemade Croutons

The second course at our “oh-so-fancy” vegan dinner party was a throw back to a classic. Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned Caesar Salad? Crispy romaine leaves, creamy dressing, strips of bacon and hunks of toasted bread. Delicious!

Unfortunately as a vegan, this particular salad doesn’t exactly fit the bill. So it was the perfect challenge for our dinner party – a dish that was guaranteed to be loved by all if only I could closely replicate the original. And by George I did it!

caesar done

The very best part of this salad had to be the croutons. They are easy to make and so yummy that I may never buy the store-bought variety again. We made ours with a sourdough loaf but you could use your favourite gluten-free bread to make the salad completely GF. The kids were eating these croutons straight off the tray as they came out of the oven…and I may have snuck one or two myself.

The dressing is also a winner. It was a snap to whip up in the blender and it was made mainly with raw nuts, olive oil, lemon juice and capers. A word of warning though – I put 3 whole cloves of garlic in this sauce and the kids found it way too tangy. So feel free to reduce to one clove to make it more family friendly.

After our spring rolls and a cold glass of Prosecco, this salad was the perfect second course. It would also make a great lunch and the dressing would work amazing on other green salads, drizzled over tomato slices or simply set out as a veggie dip. Give it a whirl and see if you like it as well as the classic!

Homemade Vegan Caesar Dressing
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp agave nectar
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/8 cup raw pine nuts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-3 medium cloves of garlic
1 tsp mild miso paste
1 tbsp capers, drained
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup water
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

caesar dressing

Combine all ingredients in the blender and whir until smooth.

Sourdough Croutons
1/2 loaf of sourdough bread (or GF bread of choice)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt

caesar croutons

Preheat oven to 400. Cut bread into slices and then into cubes. Put the bread cubes in a large bowl and toss with oil and salt. Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, tossing once or twice.

Toss with chopped romaine lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

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